United Nations officials and local dignitaries joined Nepal’s LGBTQ community in celebrating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by raising the rainbow banner for the first time in that nation’s history.
When it comes to the country’s lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer/questioning population, Nepal is an outstanding global leader, supporting LGBTQ rights in its 2015 constitution, offering third gender ID cards and openly supporting Pride parades.
Wednesday’s ceremony at the U.N. House in Pulchowk, which is located in Patan (also known locally as Lalitpur), also featured a representative from Nepal’s Human Rights Commission and the president of the Blue Diamond Society, a local advocacy organization for LGBTQ rights.
‘If you have rights, you have responsibilities, and our responsibility today, and every day, is to educate those who don’t know,” said Mohna Ansari, a commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission. As Gay Star News reported, she urged people to “use their privilege for good — educate those who are ignorant and misinformed, and give proof to those who are prejudiced, that all people, regardless of religion, caste, gender or sexual orientation, once respected and valued, can and will accomplish their full potential,’ she said.
On #IDAHOT day, UNRC welcomes all guests to the UN House where, for the 1st time, the Rainbow flag will be raised alongside the UN flag 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/gyiPv9El8R
— UN Country Team Nepal (@UN_Nepal) May 17, 2017
‘Today is about families and we are celebrating,’ Pinky Gurung of the Blue Diamond Society told the crowd.
The struggle of sexual and gender minorities first starts within us and our families. Because for many of us support from our family, in terms of emotional, economical and physical help, the life of us, sexual and gender minorities, is often hard and difficult.
There have been many instances where people from this community have even taken the extreme decision of committing suicide, due to the lack of education, health and employment opportunities. These are not just imaginary examples; this is our harsh reality.
We get motivated and feel confident to fight against social prejudice and exclusion only when our family helps us, supports us and accepts us.
We feel very lucky that experts, dignitaries and renowned people are here with us, people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities, and I would like to thank you all for being with us and standing for equality.
We feel pride that with the support from you all Nepal is becoming one of the most LGBTIQ-friendly nations in this entire world. And I truly believe that Nepal would be an LBGTIQ paradise for everyone, soon.